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'How to stop buildings becoming killers in disasters'

Source(s):  Thomson Reuters Foundation, (TRF)

Olesya Dmitracova reports for Reuters AlertNet on measures that can be used in new structures and that according to experts, can stop buildings from killing their occupants in 'natural' disasters, and should be used more widely.

"You don't need to be helpless, you can build safer, you can build better to reduce both the financial cost but of course also the life (cost)," said Margareta Wahlström, the U.N. Secretary-General's special representative for disaster risk reduction. "It's not the earthquake that kills people, it's the buildings that collapse in the earthquake."

Safe construction is not part of international development policies either, Wahlström noted, adding she hopes it will now be included after what happened in Haiti and Chile. A step in that direction is a handbook for reconstruction after natural disasters released by the World Bank on Thursday.

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  • Publication date 19 Mar 2010

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